How to Help

  • HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE OR APPEARS DEPRESSED

      

    DO’S

    Show That You Care

    Tell the person that you are always available to talk about things that may be troubling him/her.  Use a warm expression and/or appropriate physical contact to reassure him/her that you care.

    Be a Good Listener

    Be calm, speak quietly and gently. Listen with your eyes and ears. Look for nonverbal cues that show how the person is feeling and report what you see. For Example, say “you seem sad” then wait for a response.

    Be Direct

    Talking openly is the only way that you can find out how serious the person is about ending his or her life.  Ask, “Have you ever felt so low that you felt that life was not worth living?”

    Get Help

    Seeking professional help is a must! Although simple depression can disappear as quickly as it came, it can develop to the point where a person may impulsively see suicide as the only way.

     

    DON’TS

    Don’t Ignore the Problem

    Just because a person may frequently be manipulative, dramatic, or attention seeking doesn’t mean they are not also suicidal.

    Don’t Minimize

    Avoid offering empty reassurance or dismiss the person’s problems as trivial.  From his/her perspective they matter a great deal and are making him/her unhappy.

    Don’t Make Moral Judgments

    Don’t act shocked or disgusted.  Do not use reverse psychology.  Don’t tell them they have a lot to live for, argue with them, or lecture and punish.  If what the person tells you makes you feel angry, control those feelings.

    Don’t Leave the Person Alone

    If you feel there is any immediate danger, don’t leave the person alone and eliminate all access to lethal weapons, drugs, and cars.  The easy availability of guns, drugs, and cars increases the chances of a passing impulse ending in death.